Kaikki kirjoittajan LAMKpub artikkelit

Defining Female Students Expectations of the Job Market of Tomorrow

Values, workplace benefit preferences, probable challenges on the labour market and expectations of females are important factors for companies to consider. By analysing these factors companies can ensure the retention of the future workforce of tomorrow. This article describes the female perspective on values, benefits and challenges from female students and female business professionals’ point of view.

Authors: Tia Delfino & Tarja Ahonen

Finland’s leading ladies

Especially now the topic of female employment is more up to date than ever. Finland’s government is being led by young females mostly all under 40. Still a lot of women will decide or end up going another way instead of striving for leadership roles. As Laura Liswood said in 2010 “By and large one common denominator is that women have a passion and a desire to change things.” Therefore, companies need to consider what women expect and understand what kind of transformations are needed to be made in order to meet women’s expectations. (Niethammer 2019.)

Employment and women

In Finland, the majority of the population consists of women. Thus, women are a very important economic factor in Finland. Also, considering the fact that 62.7% of women hold qualifications and degrees in Finland, they are an educated and skilled workforce who need to be well considered by companies. (Statistics Finland 2018, 32.)

Women value a positive work environment and flexible hours to combine and balance career and family. Also, new possibilities within a company can help to create incentives and motivate women to take up new tasks and positions. Promoting employee skills by providing internal training, new competences are created which are conducive for the company and the employee. This is consequential as the skills and knowledge of long-term employees are a clear advantage for any company. (Insight for Professionals 2018.)

The expectations on employment today

As generations change, the idea of employment changes as well. Maintaining employment at any cost is not appreciated anymore. As people’s perceptions of employment is based on personal attributes such as values, the idea of creating a personal career path and finding a purpose in employment becomes more important nowadays. (Hoff Bernstrøm et al. 2019.)

Values, benefit expectations, preferred wellbeing options and challenges in the job-hunting procedure were the focus of the study. The expectations that women have towards the labour market and companies and employers were analysed by sending out two surveys. This was a necessary step in order to understand how and if women’s perceptions have changed over time. The surveys were based on Schwartz value theory and Schein´s career anchors to examine the perspectives female students studying at LUAS and female business professionals’ concerning values, benefits and wellbeing options. Both theories analysed typical female and male attributes which specify the values, expectations, motifs and needs regarding one’s career. (Delfino 2019.)

Values and career anchors

In Schwartz theory ten values are listed. Hereby the typical female values are benevolence, universalism and security. Typical male values are power, stimulation, hedonism, achievement and self-direction. Conformity and tradition are considered as shared values. The female values contain helpfulness, equality, social order but also inner harmony, honesty, meaning in life and sense of belonging. These values change throughout life and male and female values can become blurred. (Schwartz & Rubel 2005, 1017-1018.)

Figure 1. Female Values (Potts 2015)

A person’s own values can change throughout time, especially when working for a company. The employee adapts to the company values and this can have an effect on their own norms. By building a knowledge base, creating a strategy and finding a mission within a company an employee goes on a lifelong learning process which will affect their way of thinking. (Schein & Van Maanen 1977.)

Schein´s career anchors are connected to values and define a person’s expectations towards their career and work. Every person has one of several career anchors. As seen below the career anchors are connected to Schwartz value theory. In the field of conservation which is connected to the security value, the points lifestyle and security can be found which are typical female career anchors. Women tend to concentrate on the lifestyle and security anchor, meaning that working independently and focusing on their lifestyle is an important factor to most women throughout their working life (Williams et al. 2014.)

Figure 2. Career anchors and values (Wils et al. 2010.)

What women really expect of employment today

Female viewpoints change throughout university and work life. Whereas female students still have very idealistic and self-serving ideas of the job market and their future workplace, the business professionals, who have worked and experienced the labour market have high expectations of the future candidates and a more pragmatic point of view. The female students are expecting a positive work environment, long term employment as well as appreciation of their work effort. The female business professionals on the other hand expect hard working individuals that are efficient and add value to a company by constantly improving their work.

The female students also call for a good salary on one hand but on the other hand also demand work life balance and expect companies to be flexible regarding the working hours. The students are hoping for training possibilities and educational support provided by the companies. The reality revealed by the business professionals’ answers, is that most of the companies offer law-based employment benefits. Again, the expectations of the female students and female business professionals differ as the students as well as the business professionals expect a flexible attitude from one another. This means that the female students will have to work hard and be flexible regarding their work times and their job.

Both female students and the female business professionals agreed, however, on one point. It is very difficult to actually get a job nowadays. The availability of positions is low and the competition on the labour market is high. Another important factor which makes it difficult for applicants to gain a job is that the needed skills such as language, work ethic and job specific skills are missing.

Conclusion

The gap between the expectations of female students and the expectations of female business professionals is substantial. In order to assure the retention of skilled workforce companies need to consider the female students’ expectations and create new incentives to attract proficient workforce. On the other hand, the female students need to understand the reality of the labour market. It is important to understand that the companies too expect a lot from the future workforce especially concerning their attitude towards work and skills. (Delfino 2019.)

References

Delfino, T. 2019. Defining Female Students Expectations of the Job Market of Tomorrow. Bachelor´s thesis. Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Business and Hospitality Management. Lahti. [Cited 15 Nov 2019]. Available at: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-2019111521283

Hoff Bernstrøm, V., Drange, I. & Mamelund, S. 2019. Employability as an alternative to job security. Personnel Review. 48: 1, pp.234-248. [Cited 10 Nov 2019]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-09-2017-0279

Insight for Professionals. 2018. Insight for professionals. Four ways HR can improve the retention of women in workforce [Cited 10 Nov 2019]. Available at: https://www.insightsforprofessionals.com/blog/improve-retention-of-women-in-workforce

Niethammer, C. 2019. Forbes. Finland’s New Government Is Young And Led By Women—Here’s What The Country Does To Promote Diversity [Cited 13 Dec 2019]. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carmenniethammer/2019/12/12/finlands-new-government-is-young-and-led-by-women-heres-what-the-country-does-to-promote-diversity/#4087b24635aa

Potts, D. 2015. Irfan Khawaja Philosopher. Policy of truth, the Schwartz theory of basic values and some implications for political philosophy [Cited 15 Nov 2019]. Available at: https://irfankhawajaphilosopher.com/2015/08/12/the-schwartz-theory-of-basic-valuesand-some-implications-for-political-philosophy/

Schein, E., Van Maanen, J. 1977. Toward a Theory of Organizational Socialization. Massachusetts Institute of Technology [Cited 11 Nov 2019]. Available at: https://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/1934/?sequence=1

Schwartz, S., Rubel, T. 2005. Sex differences in value priorities: cross-cultural and multimethod studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 89/6/2005, 1010-1028. [Cited 12 Nov 2019]. Available at: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1eae/175bec95aa5eddd7be45d79b0e8338a33e4b.pdf

Statistics Finland. 2018. Gender equality in Finland 2018. [Cited 10 Nov 2019]. Available at: http://www.stat.fi/tup/julkaisut/tiedostot/julkaisuluettelo/yyti_gef_201800_2018_19723_net.pdf

Wils, L., Wils, T., & Tremblay, M. 2010. Toward a career anchor structure: an empirical investigation of engineers. Relations industrielles. 65(2), 236-256 [Cited 13 Nov 2019]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org.aineistot.lamk.fi/10.7202/044301ar

Williams, M., Grobler, S. & Grobler, A. 2014. Lifestyle integration-gender based stereotypes: a study on Schein‟s career anchors within an ODeL HEI. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure. 3 (2). [Cited 8 Nov 2019]. Available at: https://www.academia.edu/19077496/LIFESTYLE_INTEGRATION_-_GENDER_BASED_STEREOTYPES_A_STUDY_ON_SCHEIN_S_CAREER_ANCHORS_WITHIN_AN_ODeL_HEI

Authors

Delfino, T. 2019. LAMK graduating student. Lahti University of Applied Sciences Ltd, Business and Hospitality Management. Lahti

Ahonen, Tarja. 2019. Senior Lecturer. Lahti University of Applied Sciences Ltd, Business and Hospitality Management. Lahti.

Artikkelikuva: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/911844 (CC0)

Julkaistu 31.12.2019

Viittausohje

Delfino, T. & Ahonen, T. 2019. Defining Female Students Expectations of the Job Market of Tomorrow. LAMK Pro. [Viitattu ja pvm]. Saatavissa: http://www.lamkpub.fi/2019/12/31/defining-female-students-expectations-of-the-job-market-of-tomorrow/

Ikääntyneiden näkemyksiä sote-palveluiden digitalisaatiosta – perinteistä palvelua arvostetaan edelleen

Väestön ikääntyminen, kansalaisten palveluodotusten muuttuminen sekä digitalisaatio haastavat sosiaali- ja terveydenhuollon järjestelmää. EU:n ja kansallisten digistrategioiden sekä lainsäädännön tavoitteena on parantaa kansalaisten yhdenvertaista mahdollisuutta käyttää digitaalisten terveyspalvelujen sekä edistää palvelujen saavutettavuutta, laatua ja tietoturvallisuutta. Tässä artikkelissa esitellään näkemyksiä digitaalisista sote-palveluista ikääntyneille osana Ikätalon kehittämistyötä.

Kirjoittajat: Päivi Sokoff ja Taina Anttonen

Digitaalisilla palveluilla tarkoitetaan palvelukokonaisuutta, joka muodostuu verkkosivustojen ja mobiilisovellusten yhdistelmistä (Valtiovarainministeriö 2018, 12). Saavutettavuus on digitaalisten palvelujen sisältöjen helppokäyttöisyyttä ja ymmärrettävyyttä sekä internetin sivustojen ja mobiilisovellusten toimivaa ja virheetöntä teknistä toteutusta. Saavutettavilla palveluilla varmistetaan, että käyttäjät voivat käyttää digitaalista terveyspalvelua henkilökohtaisista ominaisuuksistaan riippumatta, ja että palvelut toimivat eri päätelaitteilla avustavien teknologioiden, kuten ruudunlukuohjelman kanssa. (Laki digitaalisten palveluiden tarjoamisesta 306/2019.)

Elinikäinen oppiminen tukee muutokseen sopeutumista

Digitalisaatio näkyy terveydenhuollon toimintatapojen muuttumisena ja siirtymisenä digitaaliseen muotoon, mikä haastaa palvelujen käyttäjäryhmiä ja ammattilaisia hankkimaan uutta osaamista. Työelämän taitojen ja kykyjen on todettu vanhenevan aiempaa nopeammin, jolloin elinikäisen oppimisen merkitys korostuu. Kymmenen tulevan vuoden aikana työelämän muutoksissa tarvitaan erityisesti digitaalisia, sosiaalisia ja emotionaalisia taitoja. (Vodafone 2019.)

Digitaaliset taidot ja oppimistaidot ovat elinikäisen oppimisen avaintaitoja, joita kansalaiset ja ammattilaiset tarvitsevat digitalisaatioon sopeutumisessa. Digitaaliset taidot ovat perusosaamista sovellusten käyttämiseen, tiedon hakemiseen ja käsittelyyn sekä kriittistä suhtautumista saatavilla olevaan tietoon. Digitaalisten taitojen avulla kansalaiset kykenevät käyttämään verkkosivustojen ja mobiilisovellusten yhdistelmistä muodostuvia digitaalisia palveluja. Myönteinen asennoituminen, koulutukseen hakeutuminen ja kyky opiskella tavoitteellisesti ovat oppimistaitoja ja edellytyksiä uuden tiedon hankkimiseen ja soveltamiseen. (Euroopan parlamentin ja neuvoston suositus elinikäisen oppimisen avaintaidoista 2006/962/EY.)

Sosiaali- ja terveysalan ylemmän ammattikorkeakoulututkinnon suorittaminen on eräs keino hankkia osaamista, jota tarvitaan terveydenhuoltojärjestelmän muutoksessa ja digitaalisten terveyspalvelujen kehittämisessä. Sokoffin (2019) ylemmän AMK-opinnäytetyön tarkoituksena oli tuottaa tietoa digitaalisten terveyspalvelujen kehittämiseksi käytettävämpään muotoon. Tavoitteena oli selvittää Hyvinkään sairaanhoitoalueella asuvien, 65 vuotta täyttäneiden näkemyksiä digitaalisten terveyspalvelujen käytöstä ja käyttöön vaikuttavista tekijöistä sekä Terveyskylän Ikätalo -palvelusivustosta. Yhteensä 26 ikääntynyttä vastasi avoimeen kyselyyn syksyllä 2018 tai osallistui Ikätalon käyttäjätestaus-tapahtumaan keväällä 2019. Käyttäjätestauksen ja kyselyjen analyyseilla tuotetun tiedon avulla parannetaan Ikätalon käytettävyyttä. Käytettävyys tarkoittaa helppokäyttöisyyttä, käyttäjäystävällisyyttä sekä käyttötarkoitukseen soveltuvuutta.

Kehittämiskohteena Ikätalo-palvelusivusto

Ikätalo on yli 65-vuotiaille ja heidän läheisilleen kohdennettu, Hyvinkään sairaanhoitoalueen ja Keski-Uudenmaan sote -kuntayhtymän alueellisena pilottihankkeena kehittämä palvelusivusto. Sivuston sisältö on tuotettu Hyvinkään sairaalan asiantuntijoiden, Keski-Uudenmaan sote -kuntayhtymän kuntien sosiaalipalvelujen ja kolmannen sektorin toimijoiden sekä ikääntyneiden yhteistyönä. Ikätalo julkaistiin kansalaisten käytettäväksi Terveyskylä.fi -verkkopalveluun joulukuussa 2018. Julkaisuvaiheessa Ikätalo tarjosi ikääntyneille luotettavaa tietoa hyvinvoinnin, terveyden ja toimintakyvyn tueksi.

Ikätaloa kehitetään jatkuvasti käyttäjälähtöisen palautteen avulla. Opinnäytetyössä Hyvinkään sairaanhoitoalueella asuvia ikääntyneitä (n=8) osallistutettiin käyttäjätestaukseen, jossa he kävivät itsenäisesti läpi Ikätalo-palvelusivustoa ja täyttivät käyttökokemustensa perusteella kyselylomakkeen. Ikääntyneiden esiin tuomia näkemyksiä digitaalisten terveyspalvelujen käytöstä ja käyttöön vaikuttavista tekijöistä sekä Ikätalo-palvelusivustosta voidaan hyödyntää Hyvinkään sairaanhoitoalueen digitaalisten terveyspalvelujen suunnittelussa ja kehittämisessä.

Ikätalon kehittäminen jatkuu vuonna 2020 kansallisena hankkeena, viiden yliopistollisen sairaanhoitopiirin yhteistyönä. Palvelusivustolle kehitetään kansallista mallia alueellisten palvelutietojen linkittämiseksi, itsearviointityökaluja sekä ammattilaisille suunnattua TerveyskyläPRO-palvelua. Tulevaisuudessa Ikätaloon rakennetaan tunnisteisia digihoitopolkuja yhteistyössä Terveyskylän Kuntoutumistalon kanssa. (Palamaa 2019.)

Ikääntyneet digitaalisten terveyspalvelujen käyttäjinä

Yli 65-vuotiaiden ikäryhmälle on ominaista laajat vaihtelut digitaalisessa osaamisessa ja asennoitumisessa. Ikääntyneissä tulee olemaan niitä, jotka eivät ole koskaan käyttäneet digitaalisia terveyspalveluja, minkä vuoksi rinnakkaispalvelujen saatavuus tulee varmistaa. Aikuisiällä hankittujen tieto- ja viestintäteknisten taitojen oppiminen on edellyttänyt oman osaamisen kehittämistä ja ajattelutapojen muuttamista. Digitaalisten terveyspalvelujen käyttöä harjoittelemalla, koulutuksella sekä riittävillä tukipalveluilla voidaan edistää ikääntyneiden kykyä löytää ja ymmärtää tietoa digitaalisista lähteistä. Luotettavan tiedon sekä oma- ja itsehoitopalvelujen avulla ikääntyneet voivat aktiivisesti ja monikanavaisesti tuottaa tai käyttää terveystietoja ajasta ja paikasta riippumatta.

Hyvinkään sairaanhoitoalueella asuvien, 65 vuotta täyttäneiden näkemykset digitaalisten terveyspalvelujen käytöstä sekä käyttöön vaikuttavista tekijöistä ovat tiivistetysti seuraavat: 

KUVA 1. Ikääntyneiden näkemyksiä digitaalisten terveyspalvelujen käytöstä ja käyttöön vaikuttavista tekijöistä. Kuva: Päivi Sokoff

Ikääntyneiden mukaan digitaaliset terveyspalvelut soveltuvat osaksi palveluketjua, mutta niiden rinnalle tarvitaan kohtaamisia terveydenhuollon ammattilaisten kanssa. Positiivisesta suhtautumisesta huolimatta, useat ikääntyneet asioisivat mieluummin perinteiseen tapaan terveydenhuollon vastaanotoilla. Käyttäjien asenteet voivat muuttua asteittain käyttäjien positiivisten käyttäjäkokemusten myötä.

Lähteet

Euroopan parlamentin ja neuvoston suositus elinikäisen oppimisen avaintaidoista 2006/962/EY

Finto 2019. KEKO – Kestävän kehityksen kasvatuksen ontologia. [viitattu 25.11.2019]. Saatavissa: http://finto.fi/keko/fi/page/p26

Laki digitaalisten palvelujen tarjoamisesta 306/2019. Finlex. [viitattu 25.11.2019]. Saatavissa: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2019/2019030

Palamaa, S. 2019. Terveyskylässä Ikätalo. PowerPoint-esitys 26.3.2019 ja suullinen tiedonanto.

Sokoff, P. 2019. Ikääntyneiden näkemyksiä digitaalisten terveyspalvelujen kehittämiseksi Hyvinkään sairaanhoitoalueella. YAMK-opinnäytetyö. Lahti: Lahden ammattikorkeakoulu, sosiaali- ja terveysala.

Valtiovarainministeriö. 2018. Sähköinen asiointi: Selvitys sääntelyn nykytilasta sekä kehittämistarpeista ja -vaihtoehdoista. Valtiovarainministeriön julkaisu 22/2018. [viitattu 25.11.2019]. Saatavissa: http://julkaisut.valtioneuvosto.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/160975/VM_22_18_Sahkoinen_asiointi_selvitys.pdf

Vodafone. 2019. Global Trends Barometer 2019. [viitattu 25.11.2019]. Saatavissa: https://vodafone.lookbookhq.com/global-trends-barometer-2019/global-trends-barometer-2019

Kirjoittajat

Päivi Sokoff, Ylempi AMK-opiskelija, Lahden ammattikorkeakoulu, Sosiaali- ja terveyspalvelujen digitalisaatio ja liiketoimintaosaaminen

Taina Anttonen, yliopettaja, Lahden ammattikorkeakoulu

Artikkelikuva: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/356050 (CC0)

Julkaistu 31.12.2019

Viittausohje

Sokoff, P. & Anttonen, T. 2019. Ikääntyneiden näkemyksiä sote-palveluiden digitalisaatiosta – perinteistä palvelua arvostetaan edelleen. LAMK Pro. [Viitattu ja pvm]. Saatavissa: http://www.lamkpub.fi/2019/12/31/ikaantyneiden-nakemyksia-sote-palveluiden-digitalisaatiosta-perinteista-palvelua-arvostetaan-edelleen/

Digitalization and the Relation between Businesses and Education

Finland, as most other European countries, is going through economic and social challenges. Low birth rates will change the structure of the population, affecting heavily the welfare society. Due to the lack of workforce business processes will slow down, employees will work longer days and the pension age will slowly raise. Innovation and internationalization, along with education and migration, are the core for the success. This article describes why SMEs need digitalization and its needed skills to improve their performance and provide equal opportunities for the labour force.

Authors: Erika Bottacci & Tarja Ahonen

New skills required

Digitalization is no longer an option but a necessity for business’ success. Hence, employers are now competing to get the best of IT-talented employees. In addition, recruiters may not have the right knowledge, nor strategic visions about the most important skills required. On the one hand, students may graduate without having needed skills, while on the other hand, the current workforce may have skills that will be easily performed by machines. At the same time, it is becoming more difficult to help workers improve their skills and to keep them engaged in their jobs. Even though employees highly value training and education alongside work, automation may be a threat as it could easily replace humans. To win this competition, companies must provide training-at-work programs. A business is successful when its workforce is committed. Thus, both companies and employees must be agile and flexible and must show the ability of adapting quickly to the rapid changes. Digital skills are necessary, but attention should go towards soft skills, especially on creativity, communication and problem-solving. Therefore, companies should seek for committed and passionate employees: if they provide excellent training, they will also attract new talents. (Bottacci 2019; Digital Marketing Institute 2019.)

Globalisation, digitalisation and automation: the forces shaping the European labour market

Due to globalisation and digitalisation the presence of SMEs in the market is stronger than ever before. The work allocation is more flexible, networks are decentralised, and individuals can work independently. Digitalisation changes the way humans and machines work together. It allows workers to focus on more complex duties which would then have an impact on the quality of job performance. Thus, motivating workers to develop their skillset. This is a transitional process that allows industries to constantly improve their productivity, services, and tasks. Even though digitalisation may disrupt certain roles, it increases the work participation of people with special needs. Integrating business operations with artificial intelligence (AI) improves business processes and their efficiency, e.g., by reducing the expenses. AI processes data quickly and can help in the decisional processes. It can generate new sales and improve customer relationships. AI allows organizations to become more collaborative and team oriented. It also supports diversity at work. The vertical hierarchies are no longer efficient, as are long-term contracts and physical environments. This means that the corporate culture will be based on learning and cross-functional collaboration, mixing different disciplines and including expertise from all over the world. Today, many firms are still not able to take advantage of this technological advancement: in 2017 only 20% of European SMEs reached high levels of digitalisation. The big challenge for SMEs is the competition with multinational businesses. These have better access to AI specialists, and by developing their own digital platforms, they tend to monopolise the market and even influence the legislation. Thus, the European Commission has proposed the Digital Europe program to allow innovation in smaller companies by giving them access to public algorithms. For SMEs, anyway, there is not only the difficulty of accessing high-quality databases, but also attracting skilled people. This is often related to the lack of resources and management. (Goos 2019; Servoz 2019.)

The Finnish scenario and findings

The best way to attract professionals from outside the EU is via mobility programmes. However, this also requires a revision of the immigration policies and residence permit applications (Servoz 2019). Finnish universities attract highly skilled youth from outside Europe, but it is hard for them to find employment after graduation. The main obstacles for foreigners in getting into entry-level positions in Finland are lack of language skills, previous work experience and the time and uncertainty behind the residence permit application process. Local SMEs are affected by lack of diversity and limited resources. For some of them, international graduates are means for internationalization strategies. Going beyond this vision would lead to the implementation of employment opportunities and advance human resources strategies, especially in diversity management and learning at work. Companies that are more internationalized have a diverse workforce and they have closer relationships with universities of applied sciences. These companies are established after the ‘80s – their leadership style and corporate culture are already reflecting the changes of the business world. This is the reason why universities of applied sciences should be the first ones supporting their international students in finding internship opportunities in Finland, as well as thesis works, by strengthening their collaboration with local SMEs. (Bottacci 2019.) Thus, employers and schools should work together and emphasise the importance of soft skills and critical thinking, as well as competency acquisition throughout multidisciplinary programs (Servoz 2019; Digital Marketing Institute 2019). To guide the undergraduates from the finalisation of their studies to the entrance into the labour market, schools should further develop their work-world-related language classes and the digital services, especially the career services (Bottacci 2019).

One strategic plan of the Finnish government is that SMEs enter the international market. Highly skilled migrants could be a valuable resource for international activities. Universities of applied sciences are a pool of skilled migrants, and due to the lack of workforce, educational and business sectors should work together to encourage foreign students to find employment and stay in the country. (Bottacci 2019.) Digitalization, coming between full-time education and employee training, is the tool to reduce skill shortages, job mismatch and to boost internationalisation. For this instance, the Digital Europe program is clearly the main support that companies have to proceed with the digital transition. (Goos 2019; Servoz 2019.)

References

Bottacci, E. 2019. The Finnish labour market: internationalisation and future challenges : The role of local universities of applied sciences in improving foreign students’ employability in small and medium-sized companies of Päijät-Häme and Kanta-Häme. Bachelor’s thesis. Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Business and Hospitality Management, Lahti. [Cited 14 Nov 2019]. Available at: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-2019111521316

Digital Marketing Institute. 2019. 8 things businesses should know about the digital skills shortage [Cited 7 Nov 2019]. Available at: https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/en-eu/blog/8-things-businesses-should-know-about-the-digital-skill-shortage

Goos, M. 2019. Digitalisation and the Future of Work. European Commission. [Cited 7 Nov 2019]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/digital-assembly-2019-report-and-recommendations-digital4jobs

Servoz, M. 2019. The future of work? Work of the future! European Commission. [Cited 7 Nov 2019]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/epsc/sites/epsc/files/ai-report_online-version.pdf

Authors

Bottacci, Erika. 2019. LAMK graduating student. Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Business and Hospitality Management. Lahti

Ahonen, Tarja. 2019. Senior Lecturer. Lahti University of Applied Sciences Ltd, Business and Hospitality Management. Lahti.

Illustration: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/710510 (CC0)

Published 18.12.2019

Reference to this publication

Bottacci, E. & Ahonen, T. 2019. Digitalization and the Relation between Businesses and Education. LAMK Pro. [Cited and date of citation]. Available at: http://www.lamkpub.fi/2019/12/18/digitalization-and-the-relation-between-businesses-and-education/

A Strategic Guide to Business Model Excellence in Local Food Business – Case: Baltic Sea Food Project

The Baltic Sea Food project was undertaken due to various challenges faced by local food businesses in the Baltic Sea Region. The main objective of this project was to improve the operational effectiveness by collecting and analyzing the data in the Baltic Sea Region. Development of business model(s) was critical for creating improved business solutions for these local food businesses. This article proposes an approach for conceptualization of business models through business excellence model and provides a strategic implementation framework for achieving operational effectiveness and business excellence. This innovative approach is aimed at prioritization of strategies to yield better outcomes.

Authors: Shrusti Jarde & Brett Fifield

Baltic Sea Food Project

The EU and Interreg funded Baltic Sea Food (BSF) project aims at developing more systematic approach to bring value to all the possible stakeholders involved (Interreg Baltic Sea Region 2017). BSF project is divided into phases. Phase–I to collect information about local food business scenario, challenges faced etc. In phase-II, business model(s) are developed while in the last phase piloting and remodeling of these business model(s) is undertaken to develop most financially viable approach.

Problem Space

Market orientation and awareness of market strategies have become more important not only for investors but also for the local food businesses in order to succeed (Lund & Noell 2002). This article serves as a guideline for how to implement business models successfully and how to measure their performance (Jarde 2019). The strategy framework and recommendations provided through this article can guide local food businesses in strategically prioritizing and implementing developed business models. Hence, research objectives are to first map the current situation in local food business in Baltic Sea Region (BSR) and then to provide innovative approach in conceptualizing business models through business excellence model (BEM) for achieving business efficiency.

Business logic and Strategy

The big difference between business model and strategy is, the focal point of business models is creating value for target customers. Operational effectiveness and sustainability is important but not sufficient (Porter 1996). It is important to know that, strategies come in planning as well as in implementation phase of business logic (Osterwalder & Pigneur 2010) and based on objectives strategic tools are chosen. Below image reflects, how various excellence models and strategy tools, are applied in the business logic triangle throughout this article. This aims at understanding the purpose of business model while connecting it with business strategy and progressing it towards the business excellence.

Image 1. Business study logic developed for BSF project (Jarde 2019)

Business excellence model

Prior developing BEM, it is important to develop a basic operational business framework. The local food businesses can adapt two different approaches as their basic business operations to generate revenue. Direct approach connects local businesses directly to the end consumers. While an indirect approach establishes a link with businesses as well as private customers.

To develop a business excellence strategy model, inputs from strategic factors identified and the list of existing barriers to overcome are considered. By using EFQM model, the framework of business excellence strategy model is presented. The model is developed based on the collective findings from all 10 countries’ empirical study.

Business model implementation

This article proposes an innovative strategic approach for BSF Phase III i.e. ‘Conceptualizing business model through BEM’. Many practitioners get confused with how to implement these business models to achieve desired results or to gain competitive advantage (Casadesus-Masanell & Ricart 2010). Some businesses are more profitable than their competitors, even if they apply same strategies (Nielsen 2010). Hence, conceptualizing business models using BEM plays a significant role in not just achieving business excellence but also in effective implementation of these business models to achieve desired results.

The various components for Business model canvas (BMC) and BEM are analyzed to identify some common aspects and to fulfill their respective objectives, so that they can be mapped with ‘Enablers’ and ‘Results’ of EFQM.

After business excellence strategy model is developed, it is important to prioritize the strategies identified. Evaluate market competitive position of each factor. Rate and position these factors in the business strength and market attractiveness framework for developing GE-McKinsey nine-box matrix. The positioning is done based on market and business understanding, past experiences, importance of factor etc. Once strategies are prioritized, determine the category for each factor for developing strategic implementation guidelines and set the measurable objectives. Analyze this matrix in timely manner to measure the results. Update, eliminate, add, reposition these strategic areas on the matrix based on achievements.

Evaluation and Conclusion

Businesses always struggle to know how to execute their business models and value propositions successfully to achieve desired objectives (Casadesus-Masanell & Ricart 2010). The approach proposed through this article, can also be adapted by other businesses to implement their business models effectively. A simple strategic analysis tool – SWOT analysis, is used to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with this approach.

Table 1. SWOT analysis of proposed approach (Jarde 2019)

Achieving business excellence through strategy innovation in local food business is about reimagining their own growth strategy through a focused and multi-functional approach. It is not a one action step to achieve something, but it is creating multiple iterations towards achieving operational effectiveness and business excellence.

References

Casadesus-Masanell, R. & Ricart, J. 2010. From Strategy to Business Models and onto tactics. Long Range Planning 43. pp. 195-215. [Cited 1 Oct 2019]. Available at: http://www.businessmodelcommunity.com/fs/root/8oex1-casadesus_et_ricart.pdf

Interreg Baltic Sea Region. 2017. Baltic Sea Food Application Form.

Jarde, S. 2019. Driving Business Excellence in Local Food Business Through Strategy Innovation. Master’s thesis. Lahti University of Applied Sciences. Lahti. [Cited 8 Nov 2019]. Available at: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-201904245903

Lund, M. & Noell, C. 2002. The Balanced Scorecard for Danish Farms – Vague Framework or Functional Instrument? Farm Management. Proceedings of NJF Seminar No. 345. October 2002. Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute. pp. 187-204.

Nielsen C. 2010. Conceptualizing, Analyzing and Communicating the Business Model. Aalborg University. Department of Business Studies. No. 2. 2010. [Cited 18 Nov 2019]. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Christian_Nielsen3/publication/228842227_Conceptualizing_Analyzing_and_Communicating_the_Business_Model/links/02e7e5214f40525653000000.pdf

Osterwalder, A. & Pigneur, Y. 2010. Business model generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers, & challengers. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. [Cited 8 Sept 2019]. Available at: https://profesores.virtual.uni&es.edu.co/~isis1404/dokuwiki/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=bibliografia:9_business_model_generation.pdf

Porter, M. 1996. What is strategy? Harvard Business review. 1996-2000. The Harvard Business School Publishing. pp. 61-78. [Cited 17 Mar 2019]. Available at: https://www.academia.edu/10366737/Operational_Effectiveness_Necessary_but_Not_Sufficient

Authors

Dr. Brett Fifield has been actively involved in developing Business Schools for the Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences since 1994. Most recently he has been responsible for courses in Futures and Strategies, Innovation and Creativity, and Leadership and Management of Projects in Distributed Organizations.

Shrusti Jarde has completed Master’s Degree program in International Business Development in 2019.

Illustration: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1061452 (CC0)

Published 20.11.2019

Reference to this publication

Jarde, S. & Fifield, B. 2019. A Strategic Guide to Business Model Excellence in Local Food Business – Case: Baltic Sea Food Project. LAMK Pro. [Cited and date of citation]. Available at: http://www.lamkpub.fi/2019/11/20/a-strategic-guide-to-business-model-excellence-in-local-food-business-case-baltic-sea-food-project/

Customer-driven marketing penetration strategies for Nordic-Baltic eight academic segment

This article concerns proposing B2B customer-driven marketing strategies for a software company, Statzon, to penetrate Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) countries’ academic segments following the subscription business model. In a more in-depth perspective, the study discusses the search engine optimization tactics regarding marketing strategies.

Authors: Shima Edalatkhah and Tiina Pernanen

To examine customer-driven B2B marketing strategies for Statzon, as market data and forecast provider, the research aims to enhance the number of subscribed users by figuring out:

  • Statzon service Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for NB8
  • The potential competitive advantages that Statzon can provide
  • NB8 penetration process
  • Suitable pricing policy for NB8
  • Marketing promotional strategies for Statzon
Research Methodology and Data Collection

After an Economical, Social, and Technological analysis of NB8 (table 1), a ten-question questionnaire was emailed to 273 subjects to fulfill the study goals. The survey subjects were library directors, vice directors, and the head librarians of NB8 universities as the authentic source for data collection. The collected result presents the demanded data categories in the NB8 academic segment, the KPIs of data service platform, the decision-making process, and pricing indications from NB8 academic users’ point of view. (Edalatkhah 2019)

Table 1. NB8 Economical, Social & Technological Analysis (adapted from WorldBank 2019)

Key Findings

According to the study results, Statzon’s biggest potential markets among NB8 countries are Sweden, Denmark, and Finland considering population, the number of academic centers, and the Research and Development (R&D) share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as shown in figure 1. (Edalatkhah 2019)

Figure 1. NB8 biggest Academic Markets

The research results indicate that the principle faculties in the target market are Business and Hospitality as well as Social Sciences and Technology. Based on survey results, the most popular data categories are Education, Finance, Health-Social work, and Manufacturing. The essential features of data service in NB8 academic users’ point of view are the variety of data categories, regular data updates, and downloadable visual data. Thus, it is recommended to Statzon to specify its core concentration on mentioned above countries, faculties, in-depth data categories, and the service feature at preliminary steps of market penetration phase. (Edalatkhah 2019)

The potential competitive advantages of Statzon

Amadeo (2019) believes, competitive advantages do not root only in more competitive price, quality, and speed of responsiveness, the role of innovative and high-tech service is very sensible in the current technology age. Statzon already benefits from competitive advantages, including modern, user-friendly, and engaging design, downloadable and printable visual data, regular updates, and market forecasts for all industries (Statzon 2019.) Study outcomes indicate that Statzon content needs to be revised by more detailed niche data classification, also the applied technology of Statzon needs to be automated (figure 2).

Figure 2. Statzon Potential Competitive Advantages for NB8 Academic Segment

Penetration Process to NB8 Academic Segment

To penetrate in NB8 academic segment, Statzon should reflect on the decision-making process. According to the study results, decision making in the NB8 academic segment, highly (70 %), depends on students’ feedback. The dominant decision-makers are library managers who decide about data service; however, in less than half (40 %) of academic centers, the university’s managing team decides about the data service. The study recommends Statzon does not confine targeting library managers to contact. The figure 3 declares how to convince the academic segment, Statzon first needs to build awareness among university teachers and research staff, before giving trial access to the university. In this way students as dominant end-users, would engage more efficiently in trying Statzon service, and then by providing feedback, they will influence the decision-making process. (Edalatkhah 2019)

Figure 3. Penetration Process to NB8 Academic Segment

Pricing Strategy for NB8 academic Segment

The study results imply that there is a correlation between GDP and R&D expenditure share of GDP of the NB8 members with academic users’ price consciousness. The study outcome shows while the average data service fee in NB8 is €5,194, fair annual subscription fee in the Nordics is considered to be €5,000-7,500, while in the Baltics users had more diversified anticipations (€2,000-10,000). (Edalatkhah 2019)

Recommended Strategies for Statzon in NB8

First, Statzon needs crystal clear goals as pillars of its marketing campaigns and content. The selected and filtered content should be adjusted based on customers’ demanded data categories. The second determining step is lead nurturing by creating a branched content funnel to drive leads toward fitting content, targeted video ads, engaging market data quiz, and communicating with leads in a friendly and innovative way. The third tactic is increasing visibility by other people’s networks (OPN), including academic experts and prominent influencers. The fourth step for Statzon to penetrate the educational segment of NB8 is setting barriers for the competitors and taking the market leader role. To do so, Statzon needs to create a big gap with competitors with its leading technology, massive academic niche data scale and ongoing innovation.

By limiting the access of trail users to all data categories, Statzon will have more professional and niche data provider image; likewise, as subscription bonus, Statzon can offer further access to more detailed data class, subcategories, or relevant data categories during the limited time with specific price bid to meet the needs of different academic users by setting Budget, Premium and Customized tiers. 

Tactics to avoid penalizing by Google Panda

As Search Engine Optimization (SEO) profoundly matters for the data service provider’s credibility, it also is crucial to be aware of the content types for which Google Panda algorithm penalizes the websites. Many websites after being penalized fail to retrieve their previous ranking. Panda updates are a big surprise to SEO and webmasters. Statzon should consider Google Panda sensitive hints including thin content, duplicated pages, lots of advertisements, unintuitive or poor navigation, automatically generated content, squeeze pages, doorway pages and meta-refresh technology which are respectively explained in figure 4. (Google Support 2019)

Figure 4. Tactics to avoid Google’s Panda Penalization (adapted from Google Support 2019)

Final Remarks

This study highly recommends Statzon to build a relationship with its subscribers by offering unique loyalty programs and having a “Honey Pot” service plan (Morris 2015), which leaves no excuse for potential users not to subscribe. The “Honey Pot “service package of Statzon should contain limited yet tailored niche data classifications, with the price range the target users consider fair. While Statzon is applying the suggested strategies toward increasing its credibility and visibility, it should be cautious about Google Panda content-sensitive guidelines.

References

Amadeo, K. 2019. What Is Competitive Advantage? Three Strategies That Work. Blog [Cited 25 Jun 2019]. Available at: https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-competitive-advantage-3-strategies-that-work-3305828

Edalatkhah, S. 2019. Customer-driven B2B Marketing Strategies for a Software Company. Case: Statzon. Lahti University of Applied Sciences. Thesis [Cited 30 Oct 2019].  Available at: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-2019101419940

Google Support. 2015. Thin content with little or no added value. [Cited 9 Oct 2019]. Available at: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9044175?hl=en&visit_id=637054460074608101-2546530961&rd=2#thin-content

Morris, J. 2015. The Right Way to Launch a Subscription Business [Cited 19 Jun 2019]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdWT7WA4aFk&t=534s

Statzon. 2019. What Is Statzon? [Cited 20 Jun 2019]. Available at: https://statzon.com/what

Worldbank. 2019. United Nations Comtrade Database Through the WITS Platform [Cited 28 Jun 2019]. Available at: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/TX.VAL.TECH.CD

Authors

Shima Edalatkhah, International Business Student at Lahti UAS

Tiina Pernanen, Lecturer at Lahti UAS

Illustration: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1431185

Published: 6.11.2019

Reference to this publication

Edalatkhah, S. & Pernanen, T. 2019. Customer-driven marketing penetration strategies for Nordic-Baltic eight academic segment. LAMK Pro. [Cited and date of citation]. Available at: http://www.lamkpub.fi/2019/11/06/customer-driven-marketing-penetration-strategies-for-nordic-baltic-eight-academic-segment/